#RPGaDAY2018: Day 9 — Alt-Prompt: What makes you want to GM?


Today’s question was “How has a game surprised you?”. Players have surprised me, but I can’t think of any game surprises. Mechanics and rules are what they are, so instead, I’ve decided to turn to an alternate prompt for today.

What makes you want to GM?

I am now and have always been a storyteller. I drew and wrote stories as a small kid, crafted elaborate plots with my brother using action figures to create what was essentially fan fiction. I wrote poetry, songs, comics, short and long fiction. And I’ll spin a yarn and chew your ear for as long as you let me.

All that, but it’s that role behind a Dungeon Master’s Screen where I feel the most at home. I run games much like how I write my novels — by the seat of my pants and all without a net.

I love the improvisational nature of it, and the flow of creativity, camaraderie, and collaboration that stems from crafting a narrative in that manner.


I love to build worlds and populate them with fascinating characters and to see them interact with my friends at the table.

I like deep, rich narratives, intricate plots, and time-twisiting, mind-bending revelations.

What makes me want to be a DM? It’s a lot like a stand-up comedian, I think, or a stage actor, as opposed to a tv or movie personality. It’s that instant feedback you get when telling a story, as opposed to writing a novel, waiting a year for it to be published, then the wait to see what critics and the public think. Though chances are, you’ll not hear a peep, because, well, few readers leave reviews…

When you’re running a game, you can see it in your players’ eyes and reactions, their body language when a narrative is working.

It’s a thrill to be in that moment with them.

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